Cerium oxides -- Defects, Cerium oxides -- Effect of radiation on, Molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo method, Nanoparticles -- Defects


Nanoscale cerium oxide (nanoceria) have shown to possess redox active property , and has been widely studied for potential use in catalysis, chemical-mechanical planarization, biomedical and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), etc. The redox state of nanoceria can be tuned by controlling the defects within the lattice and thus its physical and chemical properties. Perfect ceria lattice has fluorite structure and the research in last decade has shown that oxide and mixed oxide systems with pyrochlore and fluorite have better structural stability under high energy radiation. However, the current literature shows a limited number of studies on the effect of high energy radiation on nanoceria. This dissertation aims at understanding the phenomena occurring on irradiation of nanoceria lattice through experiments and atomistic simulation. At first, research was conducted to show the ability to control the defects in nanoceria lattice and understand the effect in tailoring its properties. The defect state of nanoceria was controlled by lower valence state rare earth dopant europium. Extensive materials characterization was done using high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), UV-Visible spectroscopy (UV-Vis), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy to understand the effect of dopant chemistry in modifying the chemical state of nanoceria. The defects originating in the lattice and redox state was quantified with increasing dopant concentration. The photoluminescence property of the control and doped nanoceria were evaluated with respect to its defect state. It was observed that defect plays an important role in modifying the photoluminescence property and that it can be tailored in a wide range to control the optical properties of nanoceria. iv Having seen the importance of defects in controlling the properties of nanoceria, further experiments were conducted to understand the effect of radiation in cerium oxide thin films of different crystallinity. The cerium oxide thin films were synthesized using oxygen plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy (OPA-MBE) growth. The thin films were exposed to high energy radiation over a wide range of fluence (1013 to 1017 He+ ions/cm3 ). The current literature does not report the radiation effect in nanoceria in this wide range and upto this high fluence. The chemical state of the thin film was studied using in-situ XPS for each dose of radiation. It was found that radiation induced defects within both the ceria thin films and the valence state deviated further towards non-stoichiometry with radiation. The experimental results from cerium oxide thin film irradiation were studied in the light of simulation. Classical molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulation were used for designing the model ceria nanoparticle and studying the interaction of the lattice model with radiation. Electronic and nuclear stopping at the end of the range were modeled in ceria lattice using classical molecular dynamics to simulate the effect of radiation. It was seen that displacement damage was the controlling factor in defect production in ceria lattice. The simulation results suggested that nanosized cerium oxide has structural stability under radiation and encounters radiation damage due to the mixed valence states. A portion of the study will focus on observing the lattice stability of cerium with increasing concentration of the lower valence (Ce3+) within the lattice. With this current theoretical understanding of the role of redox state and defects during irradiation, the surfaces and bulk of nanoceria can be tailored for radiation stable structural applications


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Graduation Date





Seal, Sudipta


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Materials Science Engineering

Degree Program

Materials Science and Engineering








Release Date

August 2017

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic